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50 Popular J-Pop Girl Groups That You'll Love

J-pop girl idol groups that you'll love

Nowadays, Japan has a broad music industry and many idols to hear about.

Less internationally focused than the k-pop audience but highly popular locally and in some foreign countries, Japanese can also fancy their popular j-pop girl idol groups.

These women bands are also symbols of their booming entertainment industry alongside Japanese animes.

Wondering who are the top girl bands in Japan right now?

In this article, you’ll discover 50 popular J-pop girl groups that you’ll absolutely love!

50 Popular J-Pop Girl Idol Groups That You'll Love

Here are the most popular J-pop girl idol bands.

Perfume

Perfume has been in the industry for over ten years already!

Perfume is one of the most beloved Japanese girl idol group by fans
Perfume is one of the most beloved Japanese girl idol groups by fans. ©Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0

This group is known among fans and the general public to be the face of futuristic electro-pop music in Japan.

Their last full-length album named “Future Pop” has taken significant steps in integrating future bass into their music.

Momoiro Clover Z

Momoiro Clover (also called Momoclo) is a Japanese women's idol group formed in 2008.

Kanako Momota, Shiori Tamai, Ayaka Sasaki, and Reni Takagi from Momoiro Clover Z are posing
Kanako Momota, Shiori Tamai, Ayaka Sasaki, and Reni Takagi from Momoiro Clover Z are posing.

They had their first single debut in 2009, leading to their major group debut in 2010 under Universal Records.

However, when Akari Hayami graduated from the band in April 2011, their entertainment label renamed the group Momoiro Clover Z.

Momoclo is famous for its unconventional group concepts and acrobatic performances.

AKB48

It's actually impossible to make this top without thinking quickly about AKB48, which has just released its 59th album "Motokare Desu".

They’re already a staple in the Japanese entertainment industry.

AKB48 girl idol group performing on stage
AKB48 girl idol group performing on stage

The band derived its name from the capital of Japanese pop culture, Akihabara, where AKB48 is based in.

They also have their own theater to meet fans and hold group performances.

AKB48 is the first 48-member girl group that Akimoto Yasushi produced.

Since AKB48’s debut in 2005, several '48 groups' have been established throughout Japan and other Asian countries.

Some include HKT48 (Hakata-Ku, Fukuoka), NGT48 (Niigata), TPE48 (Taipei), and MNL48 (Manila).

Nogizaka46

Nogizaka46 is undoubtedly AKB48’s no. 1 rival in the industry.

Akimoto Manatsu, Asuka Saito, Matsumura Sayuri during an event in Taipei, Taiwan
Akimoto Manatsu, Asuka Saito, Matsumura Sayuri from Nogizaka46 during an event in Taipei, Taiwan.

Formed by the same producer as AKB48, Akimoto Yasushi, Nogizaka46 is a competitive 46-member girl group in Japan.

They consist of the cutest girls in every school in the entire country.

With visuals alone, Nogizaka46 can indeed compete with the biggest girl group known among Japanese fans.

Sakurazaka46

Initially known as Toriizaka46 and Keyakizaka46, Sakurazaka46 is a sister group to Nogizaka46, produced by Akimoto Yasushi.

The band was formed in 2015 and signed under the major label Sony Music Entertainment.

Hinatazaka46

Also known as Hiragana Keyakizaka46, Hinatazaka46 is a 46-member women idol group produced by Akimoto Yasushi.

Hinatazaka46 belongs to Sakamichi Series, an idol group franchise in Japan that began with Nogizaka46.

Babymetal

BABYMETAL is a kawaii metal band that debuted in 2011.

Babymetal Japanese girl idol members
From left to right: Yuimetal, Su-metal, Moametal. From Babymetal j-pop girl idol band. ©Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 2.0

They were initially a sub-unit of a Japanese women idol group from Amuse Talent Agency, Sakura Gakuin.

But in 2013, after the release of their debut single, the band decided to become independent.

Lately in 2018, YUIMETAL revealed that she would be leaving BABYMETAL to look after her health.

BiSH

Among all the JPop girl groups listed here, BiSH (Brand-new idol SHiT) probably has an immense potential to grow their popularity in and out of Japan.

BiSH girl members making a celebration on stage
BiSH girl members are making a celebration on stage. ©Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 2.0

Despite only debuting in 2015, BiSH has gathered thousands of fans across the country.

Their label held 24 non-stop 1-hour concerts during their first-anniversary celebration on a single day called 24 Hour Party BiSH.

It was to thank their fans for their tremendous amount of support.

HKT48

HKT48’s name is actually short for Hakata48, based on a city in Japan called Hakata, Fukuoka.

HKT48 girl idol in an event in Tokyo, Japan
HKT48 girl idol in an event in Tokyo, Japan. ©Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0

They are AKB48’s third sister group, occasionally performing in a theater in Fukuoka Prefecture.

On November 26, 2011, HKT48’s first-generation members debuted, following their formation on October 23, 2011.

Morning Musume

Morning Musume, also called Morning Girls and Morning Musume ’21 (Morning Musume Two-One), is the lead girl idol group of Hello! Project.

Morning Musume members are posing with 2 fangirls in Taipei, Taiwan
Morning Musume members are posing with 2 fangirls.

They were initially formed on ASAYAN, a talent show airing in 1997.

And since then, the band has been a staple in Japanese top girl group rankings, producing several hit singles and albums.

Shiritsu Ebisu Chuugaku

The band is also called Ebichu and King of Gakugeeeeka under 3Bjunior of Entertainment Section 3 and is represented by a Japanese talent agency called Stardust Promotion.

After their official formation in 2009, Shiritsu Ebisu Chuugaku bore the concept of kawaii middle school students.

NGT48

NGT48 is AKB48’s fourth sister group that debuted on January 10, 2016.

The idol group regularly performs in its own theater in Niigata Prefecture.

While the band received a good response from the public since its formation in 2015, they are now under controversy, forcing the management to dissolve the “team system.”

Currently, the members are separated into different generations instead.

Denpagumi.inc

Denpagumi.inc has members who freely pursue their otaku interests while performing at DEARSTAGE in Akihabara.

They were formed in 2008 under the entertainment label MEME TOKYO.

Denpagumi.inc girl members on stage
Denpagumi.inc girl members on stage. ©Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0

While the band changed into the label Lantis in 2010, they still went back to MEME TOKYO before releasing their third single called “Future Diver.”

Super Girls

Super Girls (also called Supaga) debuted as iDOL Street’s flagship unit on June 12, 2010.

Of all the records and albums the group has released, their fifth single, “Puripuri SUMMER Kiss,” gave them the most success, selling over 92 000 copies in Japan.

Juice=Juice

Juice=Juice is originally a five-member women idol group from Hello Pro Kenshuusei formed in early 2013.

Juice=Juice girl members taking pose for a picture
Juice=Juice girl members taking a pose for a picture. ©Wikimedia Commons CC BY 3.0

“Hitori de Ikiraresou” tte Sore tte Nee, Homete Iru no? / 25sai Eien Setsu” is the group’s highest-selling single since their debut, selling over 80 000 copies across the country.

Last Idol

Last Idol was initially formed in a music survival show produced by Akimoto Yasushi.

Last Idol Japanese girl members smiling for a picture
Last Idol Japanese girl members are smiling for a picture. ©Wikimedia Commons CC BY 3.0

The band had 33 members and has recruited 55 girls since its debut.

However, Last Idol recently announced via their official website that the group activity is no more and the group is now disbanded.

Still, fans can refer to the several groups formed in the show as Last Idol Family.

Tsubaki Factory

Also referred to as Camellia Factory, Tsubaki Factory initially debuted as a six-member girl idol group under Hello! Project in April 2015.

Tsubaki Factory girl idol group members
Tsubaki Factory girl idol group members.

As of July this year, the band now has a total of twelve members.

They also have a sister group called Kobushi Factory.

Angerme

Previously called S/mileage, ANGERME is a Japanese women's pop group that debuted as a unit within Hello! Project.

The group ultimately changed its name in 2014 to celebrate the arrival of third-generation members and establish a new image in the industry.

=LOVE

=LOVE (with a nickname of Ikorabu) is an 11-member seiyuu idol band formed by Rino Sashihara.

The group is signed under the label Yoyogi Animation Academy.

= LOVE’s singles and albums are released under Sacra Music.

Beyooooonds

BEYOOOOONDS is a women's pop group that debuted under Hello! Project.

The band consists of three sub-groups: former Hello Pro Kenshuusei (Ame no Mori Kawa Umi and CHICA#TETSU) and one winner of Hello! Project’s ONLY YOU audition (SeasoningS).

NiziU

NiziU is a JPop girl group that made its debut in December 2020.

Formed by Sony Music Japan and JYP Entertainment, the group comprises 9 members, all born between 2001 and 2005.

The group's debut single, "Make You Happy", was released on December 2, 2020.

The song topped several charts, including Billboard Japan’s Hot Albums and Oricon’s Digital Albums charts, respectively.

NMB48

NMB48 is a Japanese pop girl group that first came onto the scene in 2011.

With their infectious energy and catchy beats, NMB48 quickly became one of Japan's most popular girl groups.

NMB48 group is well known for its dance routines
NMB48 group is well known for its dance routines

Known for their fun and playful style, NMB48 has released a variety of hit singles over the years, including tracks like "Koko ni Datte Tenshi wa Iru", “Oh My God!,” and “Kitagawa Kenji.” 

In addition to their incredible music, NMB48 is also known for its quirky dance routines, which have earned them countless fans worldwide.

SKE48

SKE48 is a J-Pop girl group known for its energetic and upbeat style.

With a rotating lineup of talented dancers and vocalists, SKE48 has been shaking up the music scene ever since they first formed back in 2008.

SKE48 is nowadays a rising group in the Japanese pop culture
SKE48 is nowadays a rising group in the Japanese pop culture

Their high-energy performances and catchy tunes have made them a fan favorite worldwide, and their incredible talents have earned them countless accolades over the years.

Whether you're new to SKE48 or already an avid follower, there's no denying that this group is one of the brightest stars in Japanese pop culture today.

℃-ute

℃-ute is a JPop girl group under the Hello! Project, a group of all-female idol groups managed by UP-FRONT PROMOTION.

Formed in 2005, ℃-ute has released hits after hits and won several awards, such as Best New Artist in 2007 Japan Record Award and was nominated for the Grand Prix in 2008.

The group disbanded in 2017 after over a decade of performing as idols.

TOKYO GIRLS' STYLE

Due to the rising popularity of idol groups in Japan in the late 2000s, the company Avex took the opportunity to capitalize on it and formed TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE.

Their debut was quite unique compared to the other Japanese girl groups during that time.

Tokyo Girls' Style recently rebranded to be fully considered as a music artist group too
Tokyo Girls' Style recently rebranded to be fully considered as a music artist group too. ©Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0

The members’ identities were held a secret until their official debut in January 2010.

TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE not only treads on the local music scene but also on international scenes, releasing Chinese singles and performing on Western stages.

TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE has recently rebranded themselves, as they wanted to be treated not only as idols but also as music artists.

BeForU

BeForU is an all-girl Japanese pop group that initially produced music only for the Bemani rhythm games.

After the release of their debut song “Dive” in 2000, it was instantly a hit and even became the first JPop song to be included in the Dance Dance Revolution, a music video game series.

The group went on for three generations and went on an indefinite hiatus since 2009.

Over the years of no news from BeForU, fans just assumed that the group had disbanded already.

Especia

Especia is a Japanese disco group formed in June 2012.

Starting as a 10-member group under Bermuda Entertainment Japan, the group has participated in several music festivals, including the 2015 Tokyo Idol Festival.

Especia ceased all its group activities in March 2017 following their disbandment.

Ebisu Muscats

Ebisu Muscats is a group composed of Japanese AV and gravure idols managed by Pony Canyon.

The original member lineup was formed in 2008 as the cast of the variety show Onegai! Muscat.

Ebisu Muscats is composed of Japanese AV and gravure idols managed by Pony Canyon
Ebisu Muscats is composed of Japanese AV and gravure idols managed by Pony Canyon

Since then, the group has been rotating members in and out.

Ebisu Muscats currently has 28 active members and almost a hundred members who have already retired.

BananaLemon

BananaLemon is an all-girl Japanese hip-hop group managed by STY, a producer who used to write songs for top girl groups like Girls’ Generation.

They debuted in 2016 with the single “#SorryNotSorry.”

Flower

Debuted in 2009, Flower has been signed to two companies, LDH and Sony Music Japan, respectively.

Flower is the vocal and dance unit of the collective girl group called E-girls.

With them are also other girl groups such as Happiness and Dream.

During the group’s disbandment in 2019, Flower consisted of four performers and one vocalist.

FEMM

FEMM stands for Far East Mention Mannequins, a music project that consists of real-life mannequins, hence the name.

The group started its career as an electronic duo in 2013 under Avex Music Creative Inc.

FEMM has an original concept based on real-life mannequins
FEMM has an original concept based on real-life mannequins. ©Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0

Unfortunately, since its debut album release in 2014, FEMM has yet to conquer Japanese music charts.

But this does not mean that FEMM is not performing well as idols.

It’s just that their audience is mainly from Western countries.

The duo is even recognized as the first mannequin idol.

Happiness

Happiness is also part of the girl group collective E-girls.

Similar to Flower, Happiness is also a vocal and dance unit.

Currently, Happiness consists of three dance performers and two vocalists.

Kalafina

Kalafina is an all-girl vocal group formed in 2007.

Initially, the group only intended to perform theme songs for the anime franchise Kara no Kyokai.

Kalafina has performed for popular animes in Western countries like Fate/Stay, Black Butler and Madoka Magica
Kalafina has performed for popular animes like Fate/Stay, Black Butler and Madoka Magica.

But Kalafina later started performing for several anime films and shows, such as the Black Butler, Madoka Magica,and Fate/Stay.

For over a decade of being a reputable name in the industry, Kalafina has produced five albums, all of which have frequented the top 10 of the Oricon chart.

The group disbanded in 2019.

Little Glee Monster

Formed in 2013, Little Glee Monster is a five-member vocal group under Sony Music Entertainment Japan.

The group’s most acclaimed work is Flava, Little Glee Monster’s fifth album.

Little Glee Monster won a Gold Award with Flava, an album sold more than 100 000 times
Little Glee Monster won a Gold Award with "Flava", an album sold more than 100 000 times.

The album peaked on both Billboard Japan and Oricon.

It even won the group a certified Gold award by the Recording Industry Association of Japan for selling over 100 000 albums.

SCANDAL

What is interesting about the rock band SCANDAL is that all the members have attended the same high school together.

They first performed together on the street until scouted by the independent label Kitty Records.

Scandal has performed theme songs for some big names in the anime community with Bleach and FMA:Brotherhood.
Scandal has performed for some big names in the anime community with Bleach and FMA:Brotherhood theme songs. ©Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 2.0

Since their major debut in 2008, SCANDAL has already performed theme songs for several anime series, including Bleach, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood,and GeGeGe no Kitaro.

It made the band one of the top ten Most Requested Artists in J-MELO Awards every year since their arrival in the Japanese music scene.

Berryz Koubou

Berryz Koubou is a Japanese girl group put together by Up Front Promotion in 2004.

In 2007, the group gave their first solo concert at the Saitama Super Arena, making Berryz Koubou the youngest Japanese act to ever perform there.

Berryz Koubou is also famous as Berryz Kobo
Berryz Koubou is also famous as Berryz Kobo. ©Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 2.0

Before Berryz Koubou’s indefinite hiatus in 2015, they had released 36 singles, one EP, one compilation album, and nine studio albums.

E-girls

We have mentioned e-girls earlier as they have been associated with many Japanese girl groups.

E-girls is a collective girl group with many sub-units, including dance and vocal.

 E-girls is more of a complete artistic performer than a usual idol group.
E-girls is more of a complete artistic performer than a usual idol group. ©Avex, MTV Japan CC BY-SA 2.0

They began as an idol group and have since branched out to various cultures and artistic appeals since their debut in 2011.

After almost a decade of performing as a collective, e-girls disbanded towards the end of 2020.

The Peggies

The Peggies is another all-girl rock band formed in 2011.

They have been in the music industry for a decade and have released nine singles, four EPs, and four albums.

The name of the group is derived from the name “Peggy.”

FAKY

FAKY aims to challenge one another to bring out the realness of Japanese pop.

The group’s name can mean three different things: for one, it is inspired by the word “fake.” Another is an acronym for the phrases “FAntastic toKYo” and “Five Ass Kicking Youngsters.”

Throughout its career, FAKY defines itself as the “Next Generation Girls Union”.

FAKY is about to celebrate the group’s tenth anniversary in 2023.

SHISAMO

SHISAMO is another band formed by high school students who attended the same music club together.

They were formed in 2010 but only started releasing music in 2012.

For a decade, the group has released 6 studio albums and 14 singles.

chatmonchy

chatmonchy is a three-member girl rock band from Tokushima Prefecture.

Since the group’s formation in 2005, chatmonchy was signed under and managed by Sony Music Japan’s Ki/oon Records.

After chatmonchy announced its disbandment in 2018, the group held its final concert on July 4, 2018 and its last “Konason Fest” on the 21st and 22nd.

Negicco

Negicco is an all-girl idol group performing on Japanese music stages since 2003.

It was initially formed to promote the local green onion in Japan, hence the name that translates to “The Green Onion Girls.”

Negicco’s discography includes three mini-albums, one compilation album, four studio albums, 21 singles, and two featured singles.

Buono!

Buono! started as a subgroup of girl groups ℃-ute and Berryz Koubou in 2007.

They later performed solely for the theme songs of the anime series Shugo Chara!, which aired from 2007 to 2010.

Buono! went on hiatus in 2012 but returned as a group in 2016 before finally retiring from the industry in 2017.

Regal Lily

Regal Lily is a Japanese pop-rock band formed in 2014.

The group currently consists of three members, Takahashi Honoka as the vocalist and guitarist, Umi as the bassist since 2018, and Yukiyama as the drummer.

Regal Lily’s discography is made up of one studio album, three mini-albums, and two singles.

Tacoyaki Rainbow

Formed and managed by Stardust Promotion, Tacoyaki Rainbow started performing as an idol group in 2012.

Tacoyaki Rainbow was supposed to undergo a reboot after all of the original members announced their graduation from the group in 2021, but instead disbanded.

They will hold their final performance at the Asia and Pacific Trade Center on May 4, 2022.

Idol Renaissance

Idol Renaissance is a group from label companies Sony Music Artists and T-Palette Records.

They were introduced during the 40th anniversary of SMA.

From 2014 to 2017, Idol Renaissance participated in the Tokyo Idol Festival.

The group is still active in the Japanese music scene.

ClariS

ClariS is an idol duo consisting of Clara and Alice, both singers from Hokkaido.

The two girls initially did song covers and submitted these to a Japanese video-sharing site called Niconico from 2009 to 2010.

ClariS were later discovered by SME Records, which became the duo’s label for seven years.

The duo is known for not showing their faces out in public.

The only instances where ClariS didn’t wear masks were in their concert in Pacifico Yokohama in 2017, their tenth anniversary in 2020, and a music video released this year.

D&D

Though most of the girl groups mentioned in this article were from the younger generation of Japanese performers, some groups also rocked the music scene during the 1990s.

One of those is D&D, a eurobeat idol girl group, formed in 1996.

Their stay in the industry may have been short-lived, as the group disbanded only three years after they debuted, D&D still deserves a spot on our list!

BAND-MAID

BAND-MAID is an idol rock band that started performing in 2013.

The band’s concept includes fusing the popular maid image in Japan with the rock genre.

This idea came from BAND-MAID’s founding member Miku Kobato who once served as a “maid” in a maid cafe.

BAND-MAID is still active in the industry up to this day.

RHYMEBERRY

RHYMEBERRY is one unique J-pop group.

Not only are they idols, but they also rap, making them a rap idol girl group.

The group debuted in November 2011 at the Yotsuya Live Inn Magic, Tokyo.

Unfortunately, RHYMEBERRY disbanded in May 2019.

What is the Most Popular Japanese Girl Idol Group?

The most popular Japanese girl group is currently AKB48.

With over 2.55M subscribers on Youtube and more than 538K listeners per month on Spotify, the J-Pop girl group is famous globally.

What J-Pop girl groups are Good Starting Choices for a Beginner?

Actually there are 6 J-Pop girl groups that we recommend to listen to for a beginner: Perfume, BiSH, Babymetal, Momoiro Clover Z, Morning Musume and AKB48.

A night in Tokyo, Japan
A night in Tokyo, Japan.

Japan is a haven of kawaii pop and girl groups.

With so many girl idol bands performing and globally famous, there are many chances that you'll fall in love with at least one of them.

You can also discover some of their top hits in our best J-pop music hits of all time!

For those interested by their counterparts, take a look at our most popular Japanese boy bands list to find what're looking for!

Is your favorite one included here?

Follow us on Twitter and let us know what's your favorite one!

Dubsnatch Team
Dubsnatch Team

We are a really small team of passionate people loving and supporting the independent video game industry. We are also addicts to most new technologies, animes, shows, pop culture, and movies!


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